Friday, April 18, 2003

An amazing thing happened yesterday.

The Book of Dead Birds started off as a poem about all the dead birds I've come across in my life. The first one was when I was 6. I was walking home from school and my friend Sonja and I found a dead baby bird that had fallen out of its nest. It was featherless; its eyes hadn't opened yet. It was the first time I had seen a dead thing, and it had a huge impact on me. When we got back to my house, my friend Sonja and I put together an elaborate ritual to honor the dead bird's life.

Flash forward 29 years. The book is about to come out. A reporter (actually my good friend Donna) and a photographer from the local paper came to my house today to do a story about the book. They wanted to take a shot of me on my front porch. When I sat down on the bench that's built into the end of the porch, what did I see next to me but a dead baby bird, featherless, its eyes closed. It looked exactly like the one that had started me on this whole journey. Total full circle.

The photographer took some pictures of the dead bird. I don't know if that image will end up in the paper--the editors might be squeamish about it--but I'm going to try to get a copy.

My daughter and I had a little ritual to bury the bird (she said things similar to what I had said as a girl). I am blown away.

Another cool thing yesterday: I found out that O Magazine calls my book "a moving and perceptive first novel." Yay!

Sunday, April 13, 2003

It is hard to believe The Book of Dead Birds is coming out so soon. It doesn't quite seem real to me (then again, I've been dealing with some yucky sinus stuff which is making everything feel slightly unreal these days. I hope I'll get some more energy in time for all of my events. I'd hate to nod off during book signings!)

A very sweet thing--my daughter, who is 9, read my novel (I was a little uncertain about whether or not to share it with her--it covers some pretty dark terrain--but she was insistent, plus she's a lot more mature than most people twice her age. I wouldn't suggest any other nine year old read it, but Hannah is a force of nature unto herself.) The day she finished reading it, she surprised me by making a board game based upon the book, with a Chutes and Ladders-style board and cards with trivia and true/false questions about the characters and the plot. We played, using pennies as game pieces. I was so deeply moved that she took the time to create something out of my creation (and I was deeply moved by how proud she is). All I can say is, let the bad reviews come. I have the love and support of my family, and no weird outside reviewer person can change that.

I hope some of you will want to give the novel a try. In the meanwhile, if you feel like reading some of my fiction, I have a silly new story up at Pindeldyboz.

Tuesday, April 01, 2003

Many thanks to the lovely and talented Eula Palmer for updating my website! Now you can get the latest info on my novel, coming soon to a bookstore near you (and I may be coming soon to a bookstore near you, myself--check out the link to my tour schedule on the site. I look forward to seeing everyone!)

I just received my first copy of the hardcover yesterday. It is amazing to be able to hold it and smell it and rub my hands all over it. It is a beautiful thing.

I also recently received my contributor's copies of a great new book about breastfeeding--Fresh Milk: The Secret Life of Breasts by Fiona Giles (who edited the amazing Chick for a Day and Dick for a Day). Fiona incorporated my essay, "Mammatocumulus", into the introduction of the book. If you have breasts, or if you like breasts, you must read this book!

Hope everyone is doing well during this uncertain time. I wish you (and the world) peace.